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Parents & Educators

How will your family get out of the house in case of fire?

Below is a checklist of things to do in case of a fire:

1.         Smoke Alarms - Smoke alarms are your best warning. They will buy you time to make your escape. But you must test your alarms regularly and change the batteries every six months. Here's how to remember: change the batteries when the clocks change for daylight savings and back.

2.         Two ways out - Every room should have two ways out: the door and a window. Make sure the window is not blocked by furniture and is easily opened. If you live in a 2-storey home, a roll-up fire escape ladder is a must for each bedroom on the upper floor.

3.         Get out fast - Once the alarm has sounded, do not stop to dress or gather valuables. Don't let children look for favourite toys or even the family pet. Fire moves FAST.

4.         Never hide - When people see smoke or fire they often respond by trying to hide under a bed or in a closet. Remember, you cannot hide from fire but you can escape.

5.         Test doors before opening them - Feel the door and look for smoke seeping in and around the edges. Open it slowly and be prepared to slam it shut if heat and smoke rush in.

6.         Crawl - If there is a lot of smoke, drop down on your hands and knees and crawl low under the smoke to the nearest exit. Smoke rises, so cleaner, cooler air is near the floor.

7.         An outside meeting place - should be decided upon in advance. Locate a meeting place well away from the house and make a rule: ONCE OUT…STAY OUT — NEVER return to a burning building. A good meeting place would be a tree, a streetlight or a neighbour's home. If someone is missing do not go back inside, notify responding fire fighters.

8.         Lots of practice - Rehearsing your escape plan regularly is essential. A practiced routine will override panic in an emergency situation. People who have had fire drill practice at home will automatically do the right thing in a real emergency.